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Red Hat drafts Sun exec for desktop Linux push

Java engineer Karen Tegan-Padir resigns to head up Red Hat's bid to get the open-source operating system on desktop systems.

Red Hat, the top seller of Linux, has hired a former Sun Microsystems executive to head its push to get the open-source operating system on desktop computers.

Karen Tegan-Padir was the vice president of engineering who oversaw Sun's application server software and other Java products. She resigned to become Red Hat's vice president of desktop infrastructure technologies, she said in an interview Monday.

In her new job, Tegan-Padir's responsibilities cover both software for desktop computers and the server software those desktop machines use, she said.

Her priorities will include integrating Netscape server software with Red Hat's products and building an open-source programming community around these. Red Hat announced an agreement in September to acquire the software, which should be integrated and released by May at the earliest and November 2005 at the latest. The acquisition of the Netscape products is expected to close by the end of November.

Although Red Hat and Sun are business partners, the companies have recently been at odds over patents and open-source issues. Specifically, Sun has taken aim at Red Hat by releasing a version of the Solaris operating system for servers with x86 chips. The company has said it plans to put Solaris in the open-source realm by the end of the year.